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Indian Horror Movies

Indian movie industry churns out more than 500 movies every year, and the number has actually come down in the recent years because of piracy and the increasing popularity of television serials. Of all the movies made in a year, probably 10% of them feature original screenplays - the rest are all amalgams of Hollywood blockbusters and old hit formula Indian movies. I can safely say that only less than 5% of the movies that feature original screenplays belong to the horror genre - which means, of the 500+, only 3 horror movies are originally conceived by Indian writers. But we get our share of cheap thrills which are recycled from Hollywood or Japan - somewhere close to 20 movies every year.

Horror is not on the regular menu of an average Indian cineaste. He wants songs, fights, sentiments, tragedy, comedy, heroism and a happy ending. We call it the 'Bollywood formula' and when someone gets the ingredients right, the product is a decent entertainer. But the real tragedy is that the producers insist on religiously adhering to the formula even for thriller or horror flicks. Think of a dream song where the hero and heroine escape to the hills in NewZealand when somebody is plotting to kill him. Or a dying mother and a loving son trading saccharine sweet dialogues when there's a ghost in the house and every character comfortably ignores the ghost for 10 minutes until the mother dies. You get what I mean - the atmosphere, the thrill is watered down, which is a cardinal mistake to make in horror movies.

Most of Indian horror movies are immature. The producers don't treat their audice as mature viewers who are expecting something that will appeal to their mind, not just their eyes and ears. A dimly lit room, water dripping from a tap, a shabbily dressed woman all seen through a blue-green filter with an eerie music in the background won't generate atmosphere. Atmosphere is the result of a strong story which develops genuine characters and puts them in danger. But the essentials are not cared for and gimmicks are heavily relied upon. The writer/director strongly believes that 'boo' moments judiciously spread across the running time will deliver chills. No, it can occasionally make the audience jump out of their seats (that too depending upon the execution of the scene), but it will never make a good horror movie.

A good horror movie, like any good movie, comes from the mind appreciating the elements of the movie. Indian horror movies heavily depend on strange set designs, high-pitched yells, blood, gore, shocks, sex, camera movements, darkness, ununderstandable editing ( - horror staple) songs, fights and needless sentimental dialogues ( - masala balance). If these are the priorities of our filmmakers, then it could be quite a while before we can get a decent original Indian horror flick. Since horror/thrillers present a variety from the usual entertainers, they continue to make money, which means such movies movies will be made in the future as they represent a safe haven for the producers.

The number of Indian movies I see has dwindled; with easily accessible foreign titles, I don't have to endure a bad copy made in a local language when I can lay my hands on the original.

3 Responses to “Indian Horror Movies”

  1. # Anonymous Sharada

    For a split moment I thought this post was about the horror called indian movies :) ! Anyway, which is the most decent indian horror movie you've seen? I've watched very few and none of them are worth mentioning.

    And I await the review of the indian movie you recently saw and proclaimed "very good".

    - Sharada  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    The best horror movie that I've watched is The Grudge...will watch Part 2 next week...


  3. # Anonymous Paranormal Movie

    Thank you for posting the Indian horror movie. Indian horror movies need some extra sound effect.  

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